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Improve Your Event Marketing Strategy With Custom Intent Audiences On YouTube

Improve Your Event Marketing Strategy With Custom Intent Audiences On YouTube

Author: Karen Brownlie, 17th June 2020

In the past, Google has focused predominantly on serving ads in the right place through Search advertising and Display placement targeting. Since then, social platforms have grown to command a strong advertising presence with their user-focused targeting. Google has taken stock of this strategy and incorporated similar targeting features with the aim of placing relevant ads directly in front of the right audience, wherever they are on the web.

Custom intent audiences are used on the Display and video networks and can improve your event marketing strategy. They allow event marketers to generate traffic from a qualified audience of new prospects at a much lower cost than keyword targeting through Search. Not all advertisers are capitalising on the feature so competition is low, resulting in a cost-efficient method for events brands to strengthen their awareness, access a potentially hard to reach user pool and start moving users through the funnel. 

marketing funnel approach
Image Above: The Marketing Funnel

What Are Google Custom Intent Audiences?

Custom intent audiences are aimed at reaching highly-qualified users who have shown interest and intent to convert. In the event industry, this could translate as a user interacting with your competitors or reading relevant event industry articles. Through these actions, Google’s algorithms can determine if they have an intent to register for your event and will show ads relevant to them based on this assumption.

At Tag Digital, we segment your custom intent audiences in a similar way to your Google Search campaigns. We target users at each stage of the funnel with only your most valuable keywords and where relevant, we target specific URLs. This means that we are targeting the most refined pool of users who are likely to engage with your ads. This initial engagement is key because it’s the first touch for new prospects, who can then be retargeted with ads through remarketing, ultimately leading to registration and retention.

Custom intent audiences can be run on the Google Display Network (GDN), resulting in users being shown targeted ads around the web as they browse at their leisure. While structured slightly differently, custom intent audiences can also be used on the YouTube Network to serve action-driven video ad content. YouTube is key to maximising your campaign performance more than ever as the consumption of video content continues to grow at exponential rates.

The Rise of Video and Why This is Good News for Event Organisers  

By 2021, people are forecasted to spend 100 minutes a day watching online video content. That’s a 19% increase from 2019 (Smart Insights).

Globally, video will be 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021,  according to Cisco.

Using YouTube’s video advertising to drive conversion is now a key strategy in getting the most from your event campaign budget. Video campaigns have been shown to have a 73% lower cost-per-acquisiton (CPA) than Search campaigns (Google Ads on Air). This is great for event organisers because you can maximise your campaign performance and achieve higher overall registration numbers at a much lower cost than before.

Improve Your Event Marketing Strategies With Custom Intent Audiences On YouTube

The low average cost-per-conversion reflects the current YouTube advertising competition for the event industry. As the feature is relatively new, a lot of advertisers haven’t tried, tested and rolled out an effective strategy just yet. As with all of Google’s campaign types, competition will grow over time so we recommend taking advantage while costs are at their lowest. 

Video Content Matters

A common issue with brands who are less familiar with video advertising is that they use branding creatives for performance purposes. When you want a user to take action, this is usually not that effective. Having an action-led content strategy is key because you want to convince people with your creative.

Tag Digital’s recently launched video service develops engaging video content centered around your campaign KPIs. Whether you are building awareness for a new event or are looking to drive direct response for visitors or exhibitors, we carefully develop the copy and assets to help you meet your performance objectives.

Custom Intent Audiences for YouTube Ads

Using custom intent audiences on YouTube means advertisers can reach valuable users who have recently searched for your keywords on For example, if a user searches for “interior design event” on Google Search, you can then reach the same user with ads as they watch videos on YouTube.

TrueView for Action Ads for Direct Response

TrueView for Action is a YouTube ad format designed to drive conversions. Custom intent audiences tend to work best with this ad format because it was created specifically for direct response campaign objectives. 

TrueView for action on YouTube
Source: Google

With TrueView for Action ads, advertisers can include a strong call to action that will appear along with their video ads on YouTube. This is commonly, ‘Register’ for our visitor promotion (visprom) audiences or ‘Exhibit’ for our exhibitor promotion (exprom) focus campaigns. On mobile devices, the ads appear below your video and remain there even after the video ad ends or is skipped.

The TrueView for Action format allows advertisers to decide a target CPA for your campaign. Google’s machine learning algorithm then shows ads to the users who are most likely to convert at your target. This is really useful when working with tight targets.

What Now?

For event organisers, advertising on YouTube to your custom intent audience should be a key part of your strategy as you will maximise the potential of your campaign, while getting ahead of your competitors. To really maximise performance, investing in a variety of engaging, action-focused video content will provide a strong foundation for the campaign.

If you’re planning on running a TrueView for Action for an event, we’d recommend for set-up to be completed as far in advance of the event as possible, as this will allow the algorithms enough time to learn, settle and perform most efficiently.

For more information on making the most of video as part of your event marketing strategy, get in touch with our team. We’d love to hear from you. 

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